Here’s just a few of the awful things that the legitimate, but criminal debt collection agency Goldman Schwartz, who collected debts for numerous payday loan companies, including Ace Cash Express, Advance America, Allied Cash Advance, Checkmate, First Cash Advance, and MoneyMart is alleged to have committed:
1. told a woman that she would be arrested and jailed for three years, and would lose her disability payments if she did not pay a $980 debt;
2. told consumers their minor children would be taken into government custody if they did not pay a debt;
3. disclosed debts to family members and military superiors;
4. falsely claimed to work with local sheriff’s offices; and
5, collected bogus late fees and attorneys’ fees,
At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a U.S. district court shut down Houston-based Goldman Scwartz for allegedly illegally using insults, lies, and false threats to collect on payday loans. The court also froze the operation’s assets, banned the defendants from engaging in debt collection, and appointed a receiver to take control of the business while the FTC moves forward with the case.
As part of its continuing crackdown on scams that target consumers in financial distress, the FTC filed a complaint against Goldman Schwartz, Inc., three affiliated companies, and three individuals who own or manage them. Before the FTC apparently froze the website of GoldmanSchwartz.com, these scumbags had the gall to refer to themselves as “world class commercial collection agency.” The complaint charges the defendants with multiple violations of the FTC Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, including:
1. falsely representing that Goldman Schwartz is a law firm and owner Gerald Wright is an attorney named Barry Schwartz;
2. falsely claiming that consumers have committed crimes by not paying their debts, will be arrested or jailed, and will lose custody of their minor children;
3. falsely claiming to be affiliated with or work in conjunction with law enforcement agencies;
4. harassing and abusing consumers by using obscene or profane language, calling repeatedly or continuously, and calling late in the evening or early in the morning;
5. adding unauthorized late fees and attorney’s fees to the amount consumers owe on their debts, and
6. failing to inform consumers of their rights to dispute the debts, have the debts verified, and obtain the names of the original creditors.
The complaint names as defendants Goldman Schwartz Inc, also doing business as Goldman, Schwartz, Lieberman & Stein; Debtcom, Inc., also doing business as Cole, Tanner, & Wright; Harris County Check Recovery Inc.; The G. Wright Group Inc., also doing business as The Wright Group; Gerald Wright, also known as Barry Schwartz; Starlette Foster, also known as Star Foster; and Jennifer Zamora.
If you have been contacted by Goldman Scwartz, or any other harassing debt collector, the consumer protection lawyers at Paramount Law want to hear from you. You have rights in Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Consumer Protection Act. We’re here to help consumers fight back at unfair and deceptive collection agencies!